asparagus

This was a dish I cooked for dinner parties and Christmas Eve, however, I have been slipping it in to week night dinners purely for the love of it! The nuttiness of the asparagus and the scrumptiousness of the butter make for the most incredible combination for your eyes and your tongue. There is no other way to eat asparagus, I am sure of it!

 

Ingredients

Butter

Sliced almonds

Asparagus

 

Method

Heat a fry pan to medium and place the asparagus on to the pan dry. No oil, nothing. In another pan, melt some butter, then add the almonds. Add a little oregano if you like. Turn the asparagus and cook for a further ten minutes. Spoon some of the butter on to the asparagus for a last little spritz, shuffle the pan and get it off the heat, and onto a plate. Now spoon the almonds and butter on top. Such a quaint but powerful dish – it will really lift your meal!

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asparagus

St Oda’s orange cupcakes

These are lovely! Just the right amount of orange zest and the buttery goodness create the most ladylike flavour in the world!

Ingredients:

125 g butter

½ cup brown sugar

2 eggs

Zest of half an orange and a big squeeze of its juice

2 cups self-raising flour

Splash of milk

Icing:

5 tablespoons of cream cheese

2 tablespoons of icing powder

Zest of half the orange and a little squeeze of its juice

 

Method:

Combine the butter and sugar and beat until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating with electric mixer in between. Add the orange, flour and milk and electric mix until the mix is smooth. Divide into a patty cake tin lined with paper cases. Bake at 180 degrees celcius for about 20 minutes. Whilst they bake let the cream cheese go near room temperature, then when malleable stir in the powder and orange. One the cupcakes have cooled completely, ice ice baby! Ta da! How simple and gorgeous are these! Enjoy!

St Oda’s orange cupcakes

Homemade pizza bases

This base will take an hour by the time you leave it stay for ten minutes at the start, knead it and let it sit again for at least half an hour. That means your pizza will be roughly an hour and a half. Order up!

Ingredients

1 cup warm water

7g sachet of yeast

3 cups plain flour

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of sugar

Small splash of olive oil

 

Method

Combine the water, yeast and sugar and leave it sit for ten minutes. Now add everything else and stir with a flat knife. Once combined, knead vigorously. If you need more flour go ahead and add it, if you need more give go ahead and add a tablespoon of water. Knead and then leave to sit for half an hour or more if you can, up to an hour. Now press the dough out, rolling out with a rolling pin. Prick with a fork and set aside whilst you ready your toppings!

Add whatever toppings you are having. I sprinkled garlic and cheese, a little passata sauce, tomato, bacon, red onion, thyme, basil, oregano and mozzarella. Put whatever you feel! Transfer to a wire rack and bake in a 180 degree Celsius oven for about 30 minutes. I cook on a wire rack because my hubby likes a crispy base. If you like it not as crispy, bake on an oven tray. Sprinkle with a little herb and you are done! Ciao!

Homemade pizza bases

Chocolate chip muffins

It seems as if a lot of muffins have been on this blog lately… sorry, not sorry! I have been baking for school fetes, school functions, my work, my hubby’s work, sporting days and just for us too… it has been a bit of a bake-a-thon! I think now it’s hot weather in Australia the baking will slow down as fresh fruit becomes my bring a plate go to! It was good whilst it lasted…. there’s always next winter to look forward to!!

Ingredients

125 g butter

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp salt

½ cup milk

1 cup caster sugar

2 cups self-raising flour

A handful of chocolate chips or 150 g chocolate diced

 

Method

Place the butter and sugar in your mixing bowl and mix until creamy. Add the eggs and mix for a further minute on low. Now add the flour, milk, salt and vanilla. Mix until well combined and looking lovely. Now add your chocolate. Sometimes I use pre done choc chips and other times I cut up a small block of Lindt dark chocolate and sea salt… oh my word!! These are lovely like that! Mix the chocolate through your batter. Spoon your mixture into lined muffin cases. Bake in a 180 degree Celsius oven for about 20-25 minutes.

 

Chocolate chip muffins

Chocolate cherry cupcakes

Confession – I used a tinned cherry in cherry sauce for this and not real cherries. My reasoning is I like the goop, and I want a beautiful moist cupcake. This is a simple recipe and you’ll find yourself going to it again and again. It is able to be used as a base for a black forest in a cup dessert! So have a go, and if you get the opportunity, serve them fresh from the oven with a dollop of cream and no frosting – they are incredible like that!

Ingredients

125 g butter

½ cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla pod scrapings or essence

2 cups self-raising flour

½ cup of tinned red cherries in cherry sauce

¼ cup cocoa powder

 

Chocolate frosting ingredients

3 cups icing powder

125 g butter

3 tbs Hershey’s chocolate spread

4 tbs cacao powder

2 heaped tbs dollop cream

 

Method

Combine the butter and sugar and beat until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating with electric mixer in between. Add the vanilla, flour, cocoa powder and electric mix until the mix is smooth. Now add the cherries and their goop! Electric mix for a further minute and you’re ready for the oven! Divide into a patty cake tin lined with paper cases. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for about 20 minutes.

This frosting recipe is the same as my Crunchie Craver Cupcakes recipe. You pop the butter in a saucepan and heat on low. When melted add the icing powder and cacao powder and mix by hand. It will appear lumpy and wild. Take it easy, you are on track! Transfer the mix into an electric mixer bowl and add the chocolate spread and half of the icing powder. Electric mix on low for a minute, then add the icing powder in a few portions until all gone. If not thick enough add some more icing powder. Add the dollop cream generously. Keep on the beat for a few minutes until it is the thickness you require. If you would like it shiny, add a splash of hot water – not more than a tablespoon. If you like it matte in appearance, keep on.

Once your cupcakes have cooled, ice by knife or alternatively use a piping bag. These were for a school fete donation, so I used a piping bag. I didn’t decorate further as the richness of the cherries and chocolate are enough for the taste buds to go BANG! Enjoy these marvellous treasures!

Chocolate cherry cupcakes

Apple cinnamon muffins

I promise these are yummy. Use the apples you love and you’ll just relish in these amazing spongy delights! Here I have used granny smith apples with the skin still on, after washing of course. I also love these muffins using gala apples with the skin giving a hint of red peeking through, creating a sense of wonder to the round morsels! Have a go, we ate nearly all of them for breakfast…. whoops!

Ingredients

2 apples, diced (I leave the skin on)

125 g butter

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp salt

2 tsp ground cinnamon

½ cup milk

1 cup caster sugar

2 cups self-raising flour

2 tbs oats, 1 tbs raw sugar and 1 tbs ground cinnamon to sprinkle on top if you like

 

Method

Place the butter and sugar in your mixing bowl and mix until smooth. Add the eggs and mix for a further minute on low. Now add the cinnamon, flour, milk, salt and vanilla. Mix until well combined and looking lovely. Now add your chopped apple. Mix until the apple is through your batter. Spoon your mixture into lined muffin cases. If you like you can sprinkle some extra ground cinnamon and some raw sugar on top for a sugary cracked look, or leave plain, or even add a thin slice of apple to the top. Bake in a 180 degree Celsius oven for about 20-25 minutes. Smell that! It is the smell of love!! Enjoy your muffins warm, or once cooled, keep in an air tight container for up to 2 days to prolong the yumminess!

 

Apple cinnamon muffins

Vanilla dream cupcakes

These are so simple, and like most recipes the simple things are the tastiest! Just make sure you use proper vanilla pods or proper vanilla bean paste. Enjoy these fabulous little darlings!

Ingredients

125 g butter

½ cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla pod scrapings or essence

2 cups self-raising flour

Splash of milk

 

Buttercream Icing

125 g butter

2 ½ cups icing powder

1 tbs milk

1 tsp vanilla pod scrapings

Method

Combine the butter and sugar and beat until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating with electric mixer in between. Add the vanilla, flour and milk and electric mix until the mix is smooth. Divide into a patty cake tin lined with paper cases. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for about 18-20 minutes. Whilst they bake let the butter go near room temperature, then when malleable stir in the powder, milk and vanilla with an electric mixer. One the cupcakes have cooled completely, go ahead and ice them up! Decorate or leave them plain, whatever you do they will taste spectacular!

Vanilla dream cupcakes